28 June 2019
So it’s finally official, The Prime Minister has today announced the first Tourism Sector Deal. This has been discussed with key stakeholders in the tourism industry for a number of years and it is fantastic to see the UK Government recognise the significant contribution that tourism makes to the UK economy.
Some of the highlights of the deal include:
Ideas – The British Tourist Authority (BTA) (VisitEngland/Visit Britain) will work together to create a new independent data hub. The hub will hold more real time information to help the industry better understand visitor needs and preferences.
People – Encouraging people to see the sector as a career; creating an additional 10,000 apprenticeship starts by 2025; a £1 million recruitment and retention programme and increasing in-work training opportunities.
Infrastructure – Continued investment in accommodation, with commitment to build an extra 130,000 new hotel rooms by 2025. Ensuring travel around the UK is easier for visitors with development of Government strategies around maritime and aviation as well as some specific policy developments.
Place – Creation of up to five new Tourism Zones, supported by central Government and a biddable funding process, to drive visitor numbers across the country, extends our traditional season and help businesses grow by overcoming common barriers.
Business environment – to position the UK as the leading destination for business events in Europe, through the creation of a Business Events Action Plan 2019 – 2025.
Deborah Heather, Director Quality in Tourism says, “As one of the most valuable industries in the UK I am pleased to see the sector be given the recognition that it deserves. The industry is full of skilled, passionate and enthusiastic individuals who all come together to ensure that visitors receive an exceptional welcome to the UK and I’m keen to see the industry promoted more as a genuine career option.”
She continues “For us at Quality in Tourism, I think it reinforces the need for basic accreditation for accommodation providers, to ensure that the customer receives the quality standard they are expecting but more so that they are safe and protected. We are working with partners, including those in Government departments to make this a reality.”
BTA will hold a conference in September to start the industry engagement programme and we will keep you updated on where and when that will be held.